Castroneves involved in big testing crash

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves went for a wild ride in IRL IndyCar Series testing at Richmond International Raceway yesterday (Friday), after a heavy crash with good friend Tony Kanaan

Castroneves involved in big testing crash

Castroneves' Penske hit the left rear of Kanaan's Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda and briefly became airborne before ending upside down at the start/finish line. There was a fire in the car when it came to a stop, but Indy Racing League and RIR safety teams quickly extinguished the flames.

"I was just behind Tony, and we were running together," Castroneves said. "All of sudden, Tony went high. He was in a situation where he couldn't see my hands. When he slowed down, my car hit his left-rear wheel. I noticed I was upside down. I smelled the methanol, and I was just worried about it getting on fire. All of a sudden, the fire caught...

"It (the crash) was a good one. I wasn't very happy, because the car was very good. I'm fine. I'm ready to go."

Andretti Green driver Kanaan said: "In talking to Helio, what happened was I was warming my tires, and he was obviously going much quicker. I went wide in Turn Three and Four. I was going a slower speed than him, and he was in a blind spot. He hit me from behind. Fortunately, he's OK and I'm OK, so we're going to go back home."

Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon set the day's fastest lap around the 0.75-mile banked oval, at 16.2511sec (166.143mph) with his Panoz GForce/Toyota, ahead of Castroneves. Dixon's team-mate Tomas Scheckter was third quickest despite a close encounter with the Richmond wall. The South African made contact with the outside wall between turns three and four with the right rear of his car, suffering what the team termed "moderate damage."

"I don't really know what happened," Scheckter said. "I wasn't fully up to speed yet and when I turned into Turn 3, the back end just came around. I'm fine, but the car needs a little bit of work."

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